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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 984395, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/984395
Research Article

Effects of Supply Chain Strategy on Stump Fuel Cost: A Simulation Approach

1Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. BOX 7032, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
2Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden), Science Park, 75183 Uppsala, Sweden

Received 4 April 2014; Accepted 12 June 2014; Published 30 June 2014

Academic Editor: Harri Mäkinen

Copyright © 2014 Anders Eriksson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In Sweden, stump fuel extraction for energy purposes is not a well-established practice and this major resource is currently left in the forest. The stump fuel supply chain is both challenging and complex, due to distance between resource and end user, material bulkiness, and the number of subprocesses involved. This study examined the impact of different aspects such as site characteristics, fuel quality, biomass losses, and machine performance on fuel cost. Two systems, including transport of comminuted and uncomminuted fuel, were studied. Discrete-event simulation was used to model systems and to analyse the dynamics of the supply chain and its various components. For a distance of 10 km, transportation of uncomminuted fuel gave the lowest costs. For distances from 30 to 70 km, site size (odt) determined whether to comminute or not before transport. For longer distances, comminution before transport proved to be necessary. Well-planned stump storage was shown to reduce the delivery costs significantly, while high moisture content (>45%) had detrimental effects on system costs per unit energy delivered. However, the most influential parameters were productivity level and site characteristics (distance and site size).